Veterans will be given access to dozens of organisations dedicated to improving their lives at the first ever North East Roadshow for ex-members of the military Agencies from across the region including Age UK North Tyneside, Age UK Northumberland, Care After Combat and the Defence Medical Welfare Service will be present to show veterans what they offer at the ‘Veterans’ Places, Pathways and People (VPPP) North East Roadshow’ on Thursday 27 October at Blyth Battery from 11am-3pm.
Recent statistics revealed there are around 2 million veterans living across Great Britain, with around 53,000 veterans of working age (16-54) living in the North East.
It is hoped that the event, which is being run by charity Sporting Force, will be the first of many and will see an increase in the number of veterans accessing support to which they are entitled.
Organisations with focuses including mental health, inclusive sport and even gardening therapy will have a presence at the event.
Event co-ordinator Sarah Lough said:
“The word ‘Veteran’ sometimes puts into people’s minds Uncle Albert from Only Fools and Horses but veterans are of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds. They only have to have served in military for one day and they can get dedicated support. We have been wanting for a while to do something that would make a big impact for veterans and their families, and this event is just that.
“This is the first of its kind, with partners from across the North East and further afield there to showcase what they do and raise awareness of support that is out there for the armed forces community and veterans who don’t know what services are available for them. We hope this will be the first of many events like this for us, and we want to get as many people along to show their support as possible.”
Age UK North Tyneside’s chief executive Dawn McNally said:
“We’re delighted to be working with our local delivery partners on the Veterans People, Pathways and Places programme. This builds on the strong foundation and our existing relationships with Operation Veteran and Walking With The Wounded North East. The project serves to broaden our offer to Armed Forces personnel, their partners, spouses and carers”.
Other organisations involved with the event include Hull 4 Heroes, Live Edge Woodcraft, Newcastle Falcons and Newcastle Thunder rugby clubs and many more.
Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust
Steven Inman, Head of Strategic Grants at the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, which is funding the event, added:
“Through the Veterans Places, Pathways and People programme we’ve supported projects throughout the UK to improve support for veterans. We were delighted to come to this event which highlights the support which is available for veterans and the armed forces community within the North East.”
After the North East Event, Sporting Force hopes to take the Roadshow to Yorkshire and Cumbria.